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#Iwanttodrawyourband does NXNE 20 in pictures

July 19, 2014

Here are some long awaited pictures from NXNE 20.

This year I feel like I failed to go to as many events as I managed to attend. Certain events had just too many hoops to jump through to attend, like RSVP lists that you needed to get on in advance if you wanted to attend. Other venues were just crowded to gain entry. Despite the fact that the festival boasted a 10 day schedule, the bookers made little use of spreading out content over the 10 day period- opting to bunch up events into the Thursday/Friday/Saturday of the last weekend.

All in all, I felt that we had the most fun at the free public shows at Yonge & Dundas Square, as well as at unofficial festival parties. On Thursday we opted for Danny Brown/ Sleigh Bells at Y & D Square over the VICE ISLAND party because none of my friends understood that the had to RSVP via the website to attend the party. But we made up for the debauchery we missed in our own way, and both headliner sets were great- if somewhat strangely paired. I had so much fun I decided to come back to see St. Vincent the next night, well realizing that staying at the square til the end of the set meant it would be too late to get into any of the prime festival venues later in the night. It was well worth it however. St. Vincent was like a living piece of art. Her performance was actually incredible and very theatrical, despite being pretty simple. I was delighted by her high fashion look, and her guitar chops alike. She was like a long lost member of the Talking Heads (and I have probably since relistened to that album with her and David Byrne another 50 times since the show). Admittedly, watching mall goers freak out to the dark noise of Swans was almost just as gratifying.

It was hard to pick between another night at Y&D Square, or an unofficial festival rager at Soybomb for Saturday. On one hand was a chance to check out Spoon for free. On the other hand, the official festival agenda is for noobs and out of towners- so I decided to step outside of my box and do something a little different. I was pretty happy that I did. There’s something to be said about experiencing a show in an alt venue space. I was also pretty thirsty for punk rock that particular week, and the unofficial festival rager definitely helped me get my fill. The exceptionally good night helped make up for the next night, where we were denied entry to the NXNE closer party with the Dead Kennedys (in spite of having gotten our hands on some wristbands) because the event was RSVP only. Sigh. Should have went to Unaffiliated on the Island with Ehab. Well, it wasn’t the best NXNE ever, but what we managed to see was great.

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